Sometimes, when your lover does not step from the woods to save you—because how many of us are rescuable, how many would look at some fool in a pair of tights and a pageboy and say, Of course—sometimes you have to marry your tower, your tiny room.
—Elizabeth McCracken, from The Giant’s House
Poets think in lines, prose writers in sentences; the best of both work from sound to sense, with an ear for the music in their compositions. S for Sentence celebrates lyricism in prose, the play and craft at work in the artful sentence. We post a sentence a month along with comments by a guest writer on the craft that shapes it, on what makes it great. In one or two sentences.
—Pearl Abraham, Editor
This long, double-hearted sentence is a special favorite—roomy and generous, with its echoing refrain of "sometimes". The aside at its center extends an already beautiful metaphor; the “some fool” adds a note of practicality that throws the fairytale references into sharp relief. Some people are not meant for rescue, even if they live in castle towers, and other people are not the right ones to do the saving, even if they wear the trappings. The image of the not-so-charming prince is instantly recognizable and efficiently evocative. That said, it’s not the fairytale our heroine is opposed to, but the wrong choice. So practical Peggy marries the tiny room of her love for James, knowing both the limits of her choice and the power of her choosing and the sentence ends its winding journey through possibilities in this small but perfect space.
—V.V. Ganeshananthan is the author of Love Marriage